Bloating During Ovulation: Causes and Tips for Relief

Marie-Claire De Villiers
By Marie-Claire De Villiers
Romi Hector
Edited by Romi Hector

Published June 2, 2022.

A woman wearing pink holding her stomach area that is uncomfortable

Is Bloating During Ovulation Normal?

It is normal for women to experience some bloating around ovulation time (within five days of ovulation), but the question is what other symptoms are also due to ovulation. These additional symptoms include acid reflux, general indigestion, constipation or cramping, tender or very sensitive breasts, and pain on one side of the abdomen. It's difficult to tell whether ovulation or premenstrual syndrome causes bloating and digestive problems. These questions are all considered in the discussion below.

Why Do You Bloat During Ovulation?

Bloating may be due to water retention at the time of ovulation and usually lasts only a few days. You may retain water during ovulation from day 4-11 of your cycle when ovulation usually occurs. Bloating is caused by the release of luteinizing hormone (LH) when the ovum is released from the ovary into the fallopian tube. It feels like a heaviness, swelling, and tightness of the belly and may make it difficult to fit into your jeans or fasten your belt.

This hormone can also cause breast tenderness and some abdominal pain during ovulation. This pain, called Mittelschmerz pain, is usually experienced on one side of the abdomen. Some mild vaginal discharge or slight vaginal bleeding is also linked to ovulation.

The LH also triggers an increased sense of taste, vision, and smell, increases sex drive, and may cause food cravings for salty food like chips or cheese. Increased weight at ovulation and heavier breasts can both be explained by water retention.

On the other hand, disturbances in digestion are more commonly linked to the body producing a different hormone, progesterone, which happens after ovulation. Bloating, constipation, and cramping are typical of the post-ovulation phase, winding down to menstruation.

Bloating begins after ovulation when progesterone is released to prepare the uterus for a fertilized egg. Progesterone slows down bowel movements, which may trigger constipation or bloat. These problems are not really linked to ovulation; instead, they are about the bodily changes related to preparing for pregnancy.

How Can You Relieve Bloating Issues During Ovulation?

There are several tips to deal with bloating at ovulation. Try the following:

  • Movement and relaxation can release digestive gas from the bowel. There are specific yoga poses that help relieve bloating. Relaxation and meditation practices also help relieve overall tension and mental stress, improving bowel health.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Take a magnesium supplement.
  • Limit foods that cause bloating (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, artichoke, garlic, onions, and wheat) and fruits like apples, watermelon, and pear.
  • Limit salt your intake.

Pain on one side of the abdomen is usually related to the release of the ovum and is a normal symptom of ovulation. It lasts for up to 12 hours and is usually mild. An ovarian cyst can cause similar pain and bloat. If the pain is severe, you may have an ovarian cyst, and you should immediately seek medical help. You may also feel gassy and bloated during ovulation due to endometriosis, so a regular pelvic checkup is essential.

How to Differentiate Between Ovulation Bloating and Premenstrual Bloating

Bloating may be present during both ovulation and the premenstrual phase. Premenstrual bloating may begin the week before your period and may last until the first day of your period. It is also linked to other symptoms of the body preparing for menstruation. Premenstrual hormones may trigger other symptoms that accompany bloating, including:

  • Tender breasts
  • Swollen breasts
  • Diarrhea, constipation, or nausea
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Fatigue the day before your period
  • Irritability
  • Mood swings
  • Headaches

To summarize, bloating during ovulation is brief because ovulation is brief, but bloating during the premenstrual phase may last a week or as long as the premenstrual phase lasts. In both cases, the bloating ends when the hormones change, bringing the next phase of the cycle. The phases of the menstrual cycle can be difficult to understand. To get a clearer picture, take a look at our guide to the phases of the menstrual cycle.